Hosts Germany and defending champions Brazil were
named among the top eight seeds for the World Cup finals as expected on Tuesday,
along with England, Spain, Mexico, France, Argentina and Italy.
FIFA decided the rest of the draw, which takes place on Friday, would group
teams in pots according to their geographical locations rather than their
current world ranking or previous World Cup performances.
The second pot will contain Australia, the five African finalists: Ghana, Ivory
Coast, Tunisia, Angola and Togo, plus the two lower ranked South American teams
Ecuador and Paraguay.
The third pot will comprise eight European teams: Croatia, Czech Republic,
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The fourth pot will comprise four Asian teams: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South
Korea and the three remaining from CONCACAF Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and
the United States.
A special pot will contain only Serbia & Montenegro, the lowest ranked European
team, who will be placed in a group including either Brazil, Argentina or Mexico.
FIFA created the special pot so they could avoid having any groups with more
than two European teams.
Jim Brown, FIFA's Director of Competitions explained: "The seedings were based
on FIFA rankings for the last three years and the last two World Cup finals.
"Germany will be seeded in slot A1 in the draw and Brazil in F1, and there were
economic factors involved in this decision as those teams are guaranteed to play
in larger stadiums."
One team from each pot will be drawn into the eight groups in the first stage of
the finals in Germany which run from June 9 to July 9.